Kristin NoelleHi there! Welcome!

My name is Kristin Noelle and I’m the head, heart, and hands behind Trust Tending art.

Trust, as it’s used in this space, is a type of softening.

It’s a softening into who and what and where we are right now….and now….and now – including our darkest and most depressing experiences, as well as those bursting with light. And yes, it’s softening into the in between experiences, too!

It’s learning to unclench our fists from around a certain version of life or health we wish for ourselves or our dear ones; from around the way we’re sure things ought to be; from around the stories we keep telling from the past or present…and finding a deeper, more enlivening source of strength to face the road ahead.

It’s taking what feel like small, and sometimes large risks to live as though the universe is kind, and to carry the parts of us that fear that the universe isn’t with compassion and humility, knowing none of us knows fully the nature of everything.

I create art specifically for:

  • People who want to do more than just cope through life. People who want to THRIVE.
  • People who want to wake up, again and again, and in deepening ways, to what’s real.
  • People who sense that fear is a charade, and who continue to recognize its power in their lives.
  • People who want increasing freedom from the trappings of their ego.
  • People who want to feel safe somewhere, most especially in their own skin.
  • People who want to shape our world with kind, clear-sighted power, and who recognize this type of power must be cultivated – that for ALL of us, it’s a practice.

My Story

Though my formal training is in art (H.S.), International Studies (B.A.), and Theology (two M.A.’s), my path to tending trust was orchestrated by a series of disorienting “hatchings”.

The most painful one began in my early 20s, when the religious faith of my childhood began to unravel. I had been deeply devout, and the unraveling was just as deeply unwelcome – processed with more books, more prayer and meditation, more conversations with mentors and friends and two related Master’s degrees than even I could have wished for.

But there it was: my most integrous path, opening up and out before me. I felt like a brand new bird, blinking in the brightness and disorienting vastness of a new world.

That hatching propelled me into a season of therapy and introspection that nurtured further hatchings – further experiences of feeling the stories I’d told about my life and other people becoming too small, then cracking, then opening out into much different views. The hatchings widened to include things like vocational identity (minister, then professor, then writer, then artist and coach) and the question of whether to have kids (I now have two, ages 6 and 8; I’m 38).

I’ve come to see this cycle of hatching-growing-hatching as the way of things – the way of the awakening life: an ongoing process of getting comfortable with a certain set of circumstances or stories and then reaching points where these must open up and out or risk stifling the growth our minds and spirits pulse to do.

Which is where trust comes in.

Hatching is rarely comfortable. And whether applied to the inner life, or to changes in outer circumstances (jobs, relationships, aging, health), most of us fear and resist it. Our animal instincts are deeply programmed for predictability and stasis…neither of which mark the awakening life (or really any life!).

Trust tending – through art, and in all sorts of ways in daily life – has become the ongoing practice, for me, of unlearning instinctual and life-stifling fear – fear that wants to slow and even stall important hatchings – and learning and re-learning, again and again, how to soften and surrender into life-as-it-is.

As I tend trust and fear loses its grip on my world:

  • My courage expands and I find myself more and more willing to take, rather than stall out on, my life’s next steps.
  • My resilience increases, and I much more quickly stand up after mistakes I make and setbacks I encounter, brush myself off, and continue on my way.
  • I find myself more and more often in a state of flow, where I’m acting and reacting not as an ego, with the drive to self-protect, but as a soul that’s un-self-conscious, operating with all the suppleness, power, and ease that marks life beyond fear.

It’s my great honor and deep joy to create and share art that does these things in your life, too!

Want more than what you see here?

Beginning in 2014, the Trust Tending blog will be devoted to stand-alone sketches and illustrations.

For my worded musings and behind-the-scenes sharing, sign up for Trust Notes in the side-bar. Readers and I both count these notes among our most favorite, life-shifting ways to connect.

My shop! I welcome you there with a hug, and will be adding products and prints there ongoingly as my focus turns entirely onto my art.


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kristin t noelle at gmail dot com, or click here to use a built-in contact form.

I’m so glad you stopped by and whole-heartedly wish you well!


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